$1.065B Buys Electronics for 139 MH-60R HelicoptersAug 19, 2007 20:37 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
Observers often note the spiraling price of aircraft and helicopters, without considering the rising cost of the equipment that goes into them. A recent contract offers an excellent illustration of that dynamic in action.
Aug 15/07: Lockheed Martin Systems Integration-Owego in Owego, NY received a $951.7 million finalization modification to a previously awarded advance acquisition contract (N00019-06-C-0098). This definitization effort will result in a firm-fixed-price multiyear contract for the procurement of 139 MH-60R Mission Avionics Systems, covering FY 2007 (Lot 5) through FY 2011 (Lot 9). When combined with advance procurement contracts from January and May 2006 totaling $113.6 million, the total value of this multi-year contract rises to $1.065 billion – $7.66 million per set. It could have been $8.58 million each…
Lockheed Martin’s release says the multi-year approach creates a 12% savings compared to individual batch buys. Work will be performed in Owego, NY, and is expected to be complete in December 2013. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD issued the contract.
Missions systems for the MH-60R include general avionics in an all-digital “glass” cockpit, as well as key sensors like an acoustic sonar suite that provides significantly increased range for detecting submarines, and a multi-mode, long-range search radar that can automatically detect and track an increased number of surface vessels. The ‘Romeo’ multi-mission Seahawks are designed primarily for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, with secondary missions that include directing naval surface fire support, search and rescue, vertical replenishment, logistics support, personnel transport, medical evacuation and communications and data relay.
On the production front, Lockheed Martin has successfully reduced the time required to install and integrate the MH-60R’s equipment from 6 months to 4 months. This will lower labor costs and speed up deliveries to U.S. Navy training squadron HSM-41, at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, CA. The first MH-60R operational squadron will be the HSM-71 “Raptors” at NAS North Island in San Diego, CA. They will stand up in October 2007, and makes their first deployment with an aircraft carrier strike group in 2009.